Date of Award

January 2008

Degree Type

Restricted Access Thesis

Document Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Justice Studies

First Advisor

David C. May

Department Affiliation

Justice Studies

Second Advisor

Bruce Hill

Department Affiliation

Justice Studies

Third Advisor

Larry R. Collins

Department Affiliation

Safety, Security, and Emergency Management


In this research, I have attempted to develop and analyze the effectiveness of emergency and non-emergency response mode criteria. Current and past literature was reviewed looking for similar systems currently in use and studies examining the effectiveness of those programs. National standards and laws were examined to attempt to find criteria establishing what types of dispatched calls for fire or EMS deserved an emergency (use oflights and sirens) or non-emergency (no lights and sirens) response.

Data from a volunteer fire department were then analyzed and compared to criteria established under a Fire Officer Discretionary System (FODR) and the more traditional Blanket Lights and Siren (BLAS) response. The results revealed that the FODR system significantly decreased the use of lights and sirens, and still satisfied the response time requirements based on NFP A 1720.

As such, the results from this effort suggest that the FODR system was successful in reducing the use of lights and sirens. Additionally, I also developed criteria to assist fire officers in the response mode decision-making process.